Published: July 20th 2010July 14th 2010
I went to South Korea with the determination to go to North Korea. I met someone on my travels who said that if you go to North Korea through the south its like going to Niagara Falls and saying you went to Canada. I saw his point, but I really didn't care. As it turns out there is a way into North Korea through a Beijing tour company Koryo. After adding the extra cost for being from the US and being required to fly in and out and not being allowed to see the countryside the trip would cost $2000 for five days. I decided that I would wouldn't do either of the tours that actually go into North Korea and would have to settle for the DMZ tour, much to the pleasure of my family.
The tour consisted of three of us going from one place to another and the guide saying "ok, we have 15min to be back on the bus, go take your pictures and be back on time". This was done at the observatory, and other places such as Dora Station, a train station that was built so when the countries unite they will be ready
to send people through. The government thought it was such as waste of money that private donations built the place. We went to the third infiltration tunnel. The north dug at least 4 tunnels, that have crossed into the south, so that they could attack Seoul, they suspect there are more of them which they have not found.
After the first part of being shuttled around to various sites along the DMZ we had lunch and an Aussie and myself were the first ones into the restaurant. The host told us to sit anywhere we wanted, so we made our way to the side of the restaurant that had tables on the floor.
She said "no those are for our Chinese and Japanese guests".
"So we aren't allowed to sit there" I asked.
"No, westerners don't like to sit of the floor, you sit over here".
She then handed us our ticket with the bus number and seat number on it. I was on the White Tour, and I began to wonder if the Chinese and Japanese would be on the Yellow Tour. After lunch the second part of the tour went to Panmunjom a joint security area
controlled by both the north and the south. We sat there taking pictures while the North Korean guards looked at us with binoculars. It was pretty cool going and seeing the place, I still wish I would have been able to see it from the other side.
There are more photos below